Address herders’ conflict in Magwi County

Address herders’ conflict in Magwi County
Herders tending to a cow during a dry season. [Courtesy]

As the cattle herders seem to have moved out of the villages of Abara, Agoro, Omeyo, Ayii, and Nyolo in Magwi County, the conflict is currently taking a new toll in Nimule and Mogali payams.

The government needs to address the persistent tension between the cattle herders and farming communities in the territory of Magwi County.

The area has been experiencing serious conflict between the herders and the local communities since the beginning of last month. So far, over 30 people have been reported killed since the onset of the conflict in the Nimule and Mogali areas.

There is a need to take a serious step to end the continued harassment of the local people by the herders.

The argument by harders that they are looking for grazing pastures and water does not hold water. They should be able to retreat since the rainy season has already begun and there are plenty of pastures across the country.

Also, the government needs to control the perennial massive influx of semi-nomadic cattle herders into the farming communities that has always disrupted the lives of farming communities and displacement of  women and children.

We have witnessed enough conflicts between the cattle herders and the farming communities in some parts of the continent.

Magwi County has experienced the worst case of the herder-farmer conflict in the country. Reports of abductions of people who are returning to their homes from temporary shelters to look for food, and rampant sexual violence allegedly committed by the cattle herders.